The question of just who is killed, or sort of killed, with a mortal wound in the Apostle John’s descriptions of the beast with seven heads in Revelation 13 has given rise to an assumption by some over the years that it is the Anti-Christ. The idea seems to be that since he comes upon the world in a deceptive mode, presuming to be the true Messiah to the Jews, he must be killed and then rise again to duplicate the resurrection of Christ. It’s a good presumption and sounds logical, but the question is this: Does it really have a scriptural basis?
This article is presented with that issue in mind, to search out just what the scriptures are telling us about this victim of the mortal wound who lived. The three verses in Revelation 13 which mention that matter are verses 3, 12, and 14. Following are verses from Revelation 13 that show the context and verses that present that issue. [They are quoted from the English Standard Version (ESV), which seems to be close to that of the New American Standard Version of the Bible.]
The Bible Passages from Revelation 13
13:1) And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.
2) And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.
3) One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound washealed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
4) And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
11) Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.
12) It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast whose mortal wound was healed.
13) It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,
14) and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
Who Is John Describing?
The breast which rises up out of the sea in Revelation 13 has seven heads and ten horns, and Revelation 17 goes on to amplify the picture for us, showing the spread of the beast’s influence and authority over even the “spiritual” inclinations of the earth. The passage from Revelation 17, starting with verse 9:
9) “This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated;
10) they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while.
11) As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction.
12) And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast.
13) These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast.”
This passage in Revelation 17 deals with the Beast’s relationship with the prostitute of Babylon, which seems to point to Rome, the city on seven hills. But for this article, the Beast is also identified as a composite of seven kingdoms existing over the span of many centuries, here represented as kings.
At the time of John’s writing, five were in the past, one existed then, and one had not yet come. When this seventh one comes, he says, it will not last very long, but will be replaced by an eighth head, which is described in the New King James Version, verse 11, as, “The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.”
The beast with seven heads is a composite of kingdoms over the ages, but that eighth head is now personified in the Anti-Christ, a person, who will be cast into the lake of fire along with the false prophet by the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:20).
You have noted, no doubt, that there is no mention of any mortal wounds being suffered by this final eighth head, who is now identified as the all-powerful, all-controlling Anti-Christ, who has taken over the whole world. Somewhere along the way, at least by the time he moves into the holy place and declares himself God, this Anti-Christ is totally indwelt by Satan. Yet, he remains an individual person, for he is cast into the lake of fire with the false prophet, and Satan remains to be put in chains for a thousand years.
It seems to spin out like this: The seventh head is the resurrected sixth head that was in power in John’s day [it was mortally wounded, yet lived (again)], and is the much talked about New World Order so dear to those Tower of Babel descendents whose goal is to build a world utopia that does not include the God of the universe. As the Anti-Christ works behind the scenes through this organization, he becomes increasingly impatient or egotistical, or both, and thus, the tenure of that head is not long, for he takes complete charge of all authority and ruling.
Daniel Only Sees a Beast of Four Heads
It is interesting that Daniel, looking ahead, sees only a four-headed beast, while John, looking back and forward, identifies a beast with seven heads, then later on, adds the final, eighth head, the one-world government dictator.
Others have identified these kingdoms of the past as that of Assyria, Egypt,Babylon (in Daniel’s day), Medo-Persian, Greek and Rome, up to John’s writing of the Revelation. And, others have seen the development of the present-day New World Order, arising from the ashes of the old Holy Roman Empire in the form of the European Union.
As the shadow operatives become more emboldened and confident of their successful endeavors to that end goal of global control, we are learning how long-standing and far reaching these visionaries have been at this project. One is to be reminded that scripture tells us that the driving energy of the beast is of Satan throughout all ages. He is the god of this world, and it is his occupied territory for the time being.
Daniel’s vision Does Not Go Beyond Six Kingdoms
Daniel, looking ahead, sees only four heads on the beast, there were two that had already reigned before him, so he saw only as far ahead as John’s era. Yet, the descriptions in Daniel 7 of that fourth head are parallel to the description John gives of the seventh head, the one that breaks into the end-time. So Daniel does not see a seventh head. That fourth head in Daniel 7 is the sixth head in Revelation 13, and the angel describes the fourth head just as John describes that seventh head—the final world-wide kingdom of terrifying power and evil.
John sees a beast with a head that is wounded mortally, yet it lives, and a seventh head is included in his vision, a “resurrected kingdom” which carries all the characteristics that Daniel assigned to the fourth head in his vision (same as the sixth head in John’s vision, by count).
Daniel did not see the wounded head, that sixth head, for it was the last one in his vision. That is the head that was mortally wounded, the Roman Empire. It appears to have died, cut up (as by a sword) into smaller entities of nation states, to rise again as a unity of nations, represented by the ten horns.
The question of how the great British Empire, on which “the sun never sets”, and now, the United States, fit into the picture, may well be answered in the previous paragraph—they are actually part of the disintegrated Old Holy Roman Empire’s subsequent nation states which are destined to be, again, part of the final Beast of Revelation, which is taken over by the Anti-Christ indwelled by Satan. That indwelling seems to take place, in Revelation’s descriptive presentation at the end of Chapter 12 when Satan is cast out of heaven, no longer having his peculiar “diplomatic immunity”, and he comes into the earth in raging fury. Chapter 13 begins to describe the horrific judgments of the last half of the seven years of “Jacob’s trouble”, called the Great Tribulation.
The Anti-Christ does not show himself in full control until he arrives to that place, and then, he does not need to duplicate Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, for he declares himself as God and demands that all worship him.